Jump to content


Photo

The Mickey Thompson 'Sears Allstate Special' cars of 1964


  • Please log in to reply
1764 replies to this topic

#1201 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,169 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 26 November 2008 - 18:48

This all started because Ray, not familiar with how things used to be here, seemed to convince Henry that there must have been an inquest (in England and Australia, coroner's inquests are common). And this is no criticism of either of them. They are both great posters here to TNF.

It was a simple misunderstanding, that I was hoping to quell before it grew and took on a life of it's own.

Dan and Mark explain it far better than my clumsy attempt. Thanks Mark, that's exactly what I was trying to say, it's up to the local authorities.

Dan brings up many examples of bad writing, something we sadly see yet. But, Dan, the speculation you mention on Eddie Sachs can be answered and ended once and for all. That information is readily available. All you have to do is contact the Indiana state department of records and get a copy of Eddie Sachs' death certificate. Cause of death will be listed. In California it's $12. I don't know the fee in Indiana, but it's probably less there. Just go to the state of Indiana records department web site and check. It's that simple.

Advertisement

#1202 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,169 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 26 November 2008 - 18:50

Originally posted by JimInSoCalif
It seems strange to me that the Highway Patrol would have responsibility for vehicles that are not used on public roads. I would think race cars would be in the same class of vehicle as such things as golf carts, farm tractors, and airport tugs.
I suppose if I lived in NJ that it would seem normal.

It surprised me too as Greg Moore's accident was the first case I was aware of where the CHP was involved, but I read a newspaper report that mentioned by name the highway patrolman that was at Fontana measuring distances.

#1203 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,399 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 26 November 2008 - 19:38

I was told by a fellow racer thay when Dino Cresintini was killed in the Wolf Can-Am car at Mosport this summer the Canadian Police shut the track down for the rest of the weekend sending everyone home early.

#1204 OfficeLinebacker

OfficeLinebacker
  • Member

  • 14,019 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 27 November 2008 - 00:18

Originally posted by David M. Kane
I was told by a fellow racer thay when Dino Cresintini was killed in the Wolf Can-Am car at Mosport this summer the Canadian Police shut the track down for the rest of the weekend sending everyone home early.


That reminds me of the side story that's part of Ayrton Senna's death. Only relevant as another data point as to the rules in different lands when a racing fatality occurs.

Italian law dictates that if a fatality occurs during a sporting event, the event must immediately be canceled and an investigation started. Apparently, even though Sid Watkins pretty much states that Senna's life ended right there at the track, a tracheotomy was done and he was kept alive artificially until arrival at the hospital. Some conspiracy theorists claim this was only done in the interests of the promoters of the race--if the death officially occurred at hospital, the event could continue. Any competent medical professional would have seen that there was clearly no hope for any kind of meaningful existence and not prolonged the suffering. There's an interesting read of both sides on wikipedia

#1205 Buford

Buford
  • Member

  • 11,173 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 27 November 2008 - 02:01

Originally posted by ZOOOM
Don't hold anything back Buford.....


ZOOOM



My point is that would have been the mindset of the mainstream society. What kind of inquiry was necessary? Some damn crazy fools killed themselves and the spectators got their money's worth. In that era, I recall the Chicago Tribune ran a front page driver death photo, no matter how obscure the race or country every Monday. What inquiry was necessary? Just more of the same in the early 1960s and before.

#1206 JimInSoCalif

JimInSoCalif
  • Member

  • 51 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 27 November 2008 - 05:24

My memory is that back in those days the only time the L.A. Times had a photo of an auto race is when they had a picture of a wreck.

#1207 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,713 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 27 November 2008 - 07:48

Originally posted by David M. Kane
I was told by a fellow racer thay when Dino Cresintini was killed in the Wolf Can-Am car at Mosport this summer the Canadian Police shut the track down for the rest of the weekend sending everyone home early.

When I was working with the trackside medical team in New South Wales meetings we were told that under no circumstances was a driver allowed to die at the track. If a driver died at the track the Police could take over and shut the event down.
Perform CPR and pack him in an ambulance and keep the meeting going was what we were told.

#1208 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 27 November 2008 - 07:55

Good to see this thread still running.

I apologize to everyon who feels I break in in this `investigation` matters with putting up something else.
But yesterday I found something I want to inform all of you, though some of you may know already.


In this thread it has been mentioned several times that Jim Clark was one of the drivers who told Dave McDonald to step out of his ride and not race it. But it was doubted I having taken place and if so, when that could have been.

The book “Indianapolis Racing memories 1961-1961” by Dave Friedman gives what could be a clue on this matter on page 64. Within a photo caption text, printed with a picture of MacDonald, it says that Jim followed Dave for some laps on carburetion day and then told Dave to get out of the car and not race it.

I don’t know how credibility this book has among the specialists among us. So how serious we can take this claim, I don’t know. But as far as I am aware, this is the only one that, apart from mentioning Jim to have talked with Dave about this, also gave a time indication when it had taken place.

Another picture of MacDonald appears at page 69 an within the caption of that picture was included a statement by “a former Thompson crewman”.
The statement said: “In 1964, those cars should have been withdrawn after the first few days of practice. Because the new 15 Inch tire rule we were forced to run with the larger wheels and tires and this situation made our bad handling even worse. We had a revolving door of drivers all month and as soon as one driver would get in the car, another would get out. Mickey knew the problems but his ego got in the way.”

Maybe some of this is new for some of you.


I have a request to those out here who compiled scrapbooks of the newspaper articles of that time.

In Jan. '94 I was in the newspaper library at Indy, doing microfilm research on that era because of Novi Vol.2.
Within my notes I took I found referrings to a post race article in either one of the local newspapers (likely one of the day after the race or otherwise in the two or theree days thereafter). Within that article is was mentioned that the wreck of Sachs was drained from a substantial amount of fuel. I still curse myself for not willing to spend a quarter on a xerox copy of that article.
My request to any of you scrapbook compilers, does anybody among you have such an article within your collection and if so, is it possible to either scan it or make a readable copy of it?

Many thanks in advance.


Henri

#1209 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,162 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 27 November 2008 - 12:52

Henri - I looked in my Indianapolis Star archives for you. I didn't see what you are looking for in them. I have seen in other places (here included) that there was a substantial amount of fuel still in Sachs' burned car. I only have copies of papers through the month, and one day following the race, so the information you seek could be in that 2) - 3) week window afterwards, which you mentioned. Or possibly in the old Indianapolis News archive.

A couple of things of note that may be of interest is that the Friday, May 29th Indy Star on page 57 mentions that one of the two yellow flags of Carb Day practice was "when the front nose cowling came off of Dave McDonald's (*note: their spelling) Sears All-State Special." Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, and Team Lotus were "plagued with minor difficulties." Clark with shift mechanism issues that saw the Lotus mechanics take the "lever arm off the transmission and were pounding on it with a hammer on the pit apron in an attempt to reshape the part." Gurney had both oil & water overflow venting issues. Marshman was quickest at 157MPH, Clark at 153MPH. No mention of Clark & MacDonald in consultation.

The other thing that may help with the Sachs cause of death debate is that in the Indianapolis Star Sunday, May 31st edition, section 1 - page 7. "Dr. Hanna said Sachs had burned to death still seated in his racer. MacDonald died of flame inhalation which scorched his lungs, Dr. Hanna said."

Brian

#1210 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 27 November 2008 - 13:34

Thanks Brian,
most appreciated.

Henri

#1211 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,162 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 27 November 2008 - 15:01

Well, with no work in my schedule until Monday, into boxes of archives I go. Fort Wayne (Indiana) News Sentinel Mon. June 1, 1964. Article by Kurt Freudenthal (UPI) "USAC officials said an investigation of the tragedy which knocked seven cars out of the race was underway. They also said there is no rule specifically prohibiting the use of gasoline in auto racing." So, it looks as if an investigation may have occurred. USAC seems to be a good starting point for you Henry (Historic Mustang). I'm guessing there will be more to come.

Brian

#1212 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 27 November 2008 - 15:47

Henri,
With reguards to the comment by Clark that MacDonnald should get out of the car....
Writings now indicate that the comment could have been made on carb day by Clark.

My comment:
By carb day the Thompson car would have been sorted out for a full month. MacDonnald would have been as comfortable as he was going to get, with the car. During practise on carb day he probably would have practised his tail out, supreme car control, go for broke, driving style.
Clark was a supreme driver who almost never abused his cars. He got the most out of them without ever resorting to the "hang the tail out" style. When I watched him race (especially at Indy) he never hung it out.

Now, If Clark observed Dave pushing the car in a tail out mannor during carb day practise.... could it be that his comment to MacDonnald was based on his observation of MacDonnald using a technique that Clark viewed as dangerous at Indy, and attributing the overstear condition to an ill handeling car rather to Dave MacDonnalds "style" of driving?

MacDonnald's "tail out", "overstear" style has been documented completely by those who knew him, and would have been expected.... even at Indy. But Clark, who really hadn't seen Dave drive before, may have attributed the reason for the tail out driving to a fault with the car rather than to Dave's technique......

ZOOOM

#1213 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 27 November 2008 - 15:57

Originally posted by ZOOOM
Henri,
With reguards to the comment by Clark that MacDonnald should get out of the car....
Writings now indicate that the comment could have been made on carb day by Clark.

My comment:
By carb day the Thompson car would have been sorted out for a full month. MacDonnald would have been as comfortable as he was going to get, with the car. During practise on carb day he probably would have practised his tail out, supreme car control, go for broke, driving style.
Clark was a supreme driver who almost never abused his cars. He got the most out of them without ever resorting to the "hang the tail out" style. When I watched him race (especially at Indy) he never hung it out.

Now, If Clark observed Dave pushing the car in a tail out mannor during carb day practise.... could it be that his comment to MacDonnald was based on his observation of MacDonnald using a technique that Clark viewed as dangerous at Indy, and attributing the overstear condition to an ill handeling car rather to Dave MacDonnalds "style" of driving?

MacDonnald's "tail out", "overstear" style has been documented completely by those who knew him, and would have been expected.... even at Indy. But Clark, who really hadn't seen Dave drive before, may have attributed the reason for the tail out driving to a fault with the car rather than to Dave's technique......

ZOOOM



ZOOOM,

There are indeed some statements that later on in the month Dave was more at ease with his car. Which (and I hate to use that word again) could mean that it suited his drive style. One that was less familiar to Clark.

If Clark knew about Dave drive style in other races, having seen it somehow, I don't know.

Something else about the cars being sorted out later on in the month may be the fact that Johnsson was faster than Dave in qualifying. Only because of having more experience then a rookie?

I can't support your theory, neither can I deny it. But I think it is a good and interesting thought.
Another point of discussion for all of us out here?

Henri

#1214 ovfi

ovfi
  • Member

  • 184 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 27 November 2008 - 16:23

Of course Dave driving style was familiar to Clark, they raced sports cars at Riverside and Laguna seca few months earlier in 1963. IIRC they put a tremendous pace in the Pacific GP, Dave leading in the 4.7 litre King Cobra and Jimmy following him in the 2.5 litre Arciero Lotus 19, both going faster than Foyt's Scarab, Hall's Chaparral , Holbert's King Cobra, Penske's Cooper-Chevy and so on.

#1215 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 27 November 2008 - 17:14

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
We had a revolving door of drivers all month and as soon as one driver would get in the car, another would get out. Mickey knew the problems but his ego got in the way.”

Maybe some of this is new for some of you.

Yes, that's definitely news to me!!! :eek: Can you tell me about the drivers involved in this revolving door scenario? :confused: :cat:

#1216 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,644 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 November 2008 - 18:05

Oscar: You got the 1963 Pacific Grand Prix order mixed up. Dave MacDonald never led while Clark was still in the race. Dave MacDonald only won because early leaders Holbert and Clark dropped out, so he was following Clark.

all research Willem Oosthoek.

#1217 ovfi

ovfi
  • Member

  • 184 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 27 November 2008 - 19:01

Jerry, you are right! I had things mixed up in memory... I'm afraid it's my age.
But the main point is that Clark and Dave raced together before, both performing very well, so it's difficult to believe the hypothesis of Clark doesn't being familiar to Dave's driving style.

#1218 MPea3

MPea3
  • Member

  • 2,144 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 27 November 2008 - 23:37

Originally posted by JimInSoCalif
It seems strange to me that the Highway Patrol would have responsibility for vehicles that are not used on public roads. I would think race cars would be in the same class of vehicle as such things as golf carts, farm tractors, and airport tugs.

I suppose if I lived in NJ that it would seem normal.


Like with the matter of death reports, enforcement and responsibilities differ from state to state and even county to county. In some states the highway patrol is also the state police... Pennsylvania and Indiana are two state where - I believe - that is the case. It also depends on what agreements the various authorities may have with each other.

Back in the 1980's I was involved with organizing SCCA Pro Rallies, and sorting out the police responsibilities was mind boggling. In Georgia the Highway Patrol is just that, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation being the state police. In some counties the sheriff was the head of the county police, in others the head of the jail, and in others the head of the marshals, who are charged with serving warrants and subpoenas. In organizing an event, we'd have to go county by county to determine which office was in charge of traffic enforcement to make sure we had our bases covered. Then we'd have to do the same with each city or town within the counties.

Remember what I said about agreements between authorities? Our stage roads were US Forest Service Roads which we had closed under permit. Imagine our surprise when one of the local Georgia State Patrol officers notified the USFS that with the GSP having been given responsibility - by the USFS - to enforce the Forest Service roads, they were vetoing the road closures and USFS permit. They furthermore informed the USFS that road closures could result in the arrest of USFS officials for allowing racing on public roads. It took quite a while to sort that one out.

The moral of the story is to NEVER be surprised by who is responsible for what when it comes to police enforcement in the US.

#1219 IndyFan56

IndyFan56
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: November 08

Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:32

I think it was brought up before in a previous post, But looking at the YouTube video of the crash it looks like MacDonald spun out trying to pass a blue car (Hansgen?) who in turn pulled out to overtake a red roadster (Hurtubise?)
If that is the case it was just "A Racing Incident". Or at least started as one with tragic results

Advertisement

#1220 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:34

Originally posted by fines

Yes, that's definitely news to me!!! :eek: Can you tell me about the drivers involved in this revolving door scenario? :confused: :cat:




Friendman didn't list them, if the mechanic in question ever mentioned them.


Henri

#1221 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:06

Well, in view of the fact that none of the other several hundred thousands of people present at the track noticed anything the like, we can presumably dismiss this source as unreliable... Agreed?;)

#1222 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:49

Originally posted by fines
Well, in view of the fact that none of the other several hundred thousands of people present at the track noticed anything the like, we can presumably dismiss this source as unreliable... Agreed?;)



I put the quote into this thread because on several times crew member Pete Bryant has been quoted or citations taken from his book. And some of those were pretty substantial in value in order to understand what happened that day.
He appeared to be more positive on the developments within the team than the general opinion assumes it has been.
But the quote I gave tells something different then what Bryant suggests.


As far as the credibility of the source goes:

Maybe that time will tell if it is as accurate as the statements about 2 90+ gallon cars colliding and looing their entire fuel loads that goes up in flames.
Given the fact how many stories were taken for granted for so long already prove to be false, then I think that other stories which appear at the scene now have the right to be told and discussed about as well.
Who knows if one of the new stories that appears is the correct one after all.
If it can be disapproved, fine as well. Yet more rumors about this tragedy to be put aside.


I have no access to an accurate database or source with the full rundown on who drove for Thompson that month. (i can't metnion anybody else but Gregory, Johnsson and MacDonald right now.)
And I won't be surprised that in the aftermath of the incident a lot of objectivity regarding Mickey Thompson was gone because of him being blamed for his cars and a number of other things he could be blamed for but that were not correct. And in the very same aftermath, anything negative on Thompson was in great danger to be over-exaggerated and that likely happened on a number of occasions.
The 100 gallon fuel capacity being the prime example, the here mentioned revolving door experience another.

The Day_by-Day reports at the Speedway came into existance from 1967 if I rememver correct?


Henri

#1223 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:31

Please don't take it as criticism, Henri! :) You're right, we should bring everything "to the table" for consideration.

Like you, I only recall three drivers for the three cars, perhaps a fourth (Duane Carter?) - hardly a revolving door. Day-by-day reports probably already existed for the press in those days, but I haven't seen any so far.

#1224 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:44

Originally posted by fines
Please don't take it as criticism, Henri! :) You're right, we should bring everything "to the table" for consideration.

Like you, I only recall three drivers for the three cars, perhaps a fourth (Duane Carter?) - hardly a revolving door. Day-by-day reports probably already existed for the press in those days, but I haven't seen any so far.



Fines,

I don't take it as criticism. It's good to focus on objectivity within this thread.
But also : not believe everything what goes against the most common knowledge, even now e know that among this common knowlegde is a lot of rubbish.
Given your status at this forum, I highly appreciate your input in this thread and many others.
And when you know better then I do, then I have a good teacher to thank for that.


Henri

#1225 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,970 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 01 December 2008 - 18:45

Originally posted by Catalina Park
When I was working with the trackside medical team in New South Wales meetings we were told that under no circumstances was a driver allowed to die at the track. If a driver died at the track the Police could take over and shut the event down.
Perform CPR and pack him in an ambulance and keep the meeting going was what we were told.


That's right... Mike Burgmann was one such...

Bear in mind that such an approach was used by ex-policeman Jack Hinxman many times.

#1226 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 01 December 2008 - 21:10

Originally posted by IndyFan56
I think it was brought up before in a previous post, But looking at the YouTube video of the crash it looks like MacDonald spun out trying to pass a blue car (Hansgen?) who in turn pulled out to overtake a red roadster (Hurtubise?)
If that is the case it was just "A Racing Incident". Or at least started as one with tragic results


Please take time to ready the entire thread.

This was not just a racing incident and the opinions expressed in over 1200 posts are varied and sometimes emotional.

Thanks,
Henry

#1227 TrackDog

TrackDog
  • Member

  • 335 posts
  • Joined: August 07

Posted 02 December 2008 - 01:11

Originally posted by fines

Yes, that's definitely news to me!!! :eek: Can you tell me about the drivers involved in this revolving door scenario? :confused: :cat:


In addition to Gregory, MacDonald and Johnson, Chuck Arnold briefly drove one of the cars. He had originally been the driver of the M.R.C. Racing Team entry, a rear-engined Chevy powered car that looked a little like the much-later Marches in that it had sidepods. Arnold tried to qualify it[the MRC] on the first weekend, but didn't complete the run. He stepped into the Thompson car, but promptly spun it in practice and walked away from it. Arnold had previously qualified for the 1959 race and finished 15th in the Hall-Marr Special.

Remember that Mario Andretti also inquired about the ride, so that makes at least 5 drivers who were at least considered for the cars.


Dan

#1228 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:50

Originally posted by TrackDog


In addition to Gregory, MacDonald and Johnson, Chuck Arnold briefly drove one of the cars. He had originally been the driver of the M.R.C. Racing Team entry, a rear-engined Chevy powered car that looked a little like the much-later Marches in that it had sidepods. Arnold tried to qualify it[the MRC] on the first weekend, but didn't complete the run. He stepped into the Thompson car, but promptly spun it in practice and walked away from it. Arnold had previously qualified for the 1959 race and finished 15th in the Hall-Marr Special.

Remember that Mario Andretti also inquired about the ride, so that makes at least 5 drivers who were at least considered for the cars.


Dan



Thank you for sharing this TrackDog.


In addition to this, let me tell something else about what may have given the revolving door impression.
Now I know that a number of people won't take the following spokesman very serious.
But given my experiences with him, which are generally good, I think there could be a lot of truth in the following story by this person.

Back in 1989 I had an interview with Andy Granatelli about his Novi years. He told that, after Dick Rathman was forced to leave the car for his original Jim Robbins ride, a number of drivers came by to find out if the car was available for them. Also after the Liguori crash he still got inquiries. But apart from Russo, Congden and Liguori no other drivers took the car out eventually. Either by walking away after hearing what Andy wanted, or Andy turning the driver down himself.
But there were far more drivers within the Novi garage then there had been in the car.

I have no evidence that a near similar scenario took place with Thompsons team. But I wonder, given the fact he had Ford support and Ford engines, how many drivers without decent rides were willing to take a chance with Thompson?
We already concluded that on a number of occasions there is a lot of exxageration involved when something regarding the Thompson efforts is talked about. So could it be that Mickey did indeed see a lot of drivers in his garage that never got in a car after all?
Only a thought, I'm happy if proven wrong or right.

Henri







Henri

#1229 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 02 December 2008 - 09:58

Originally posted by Henri Greuter


So could it be that Mickey did indeed see a lot of drivers in his garage that never got in a car after all?
Only a thought, I'm happy if proven wrong or right.

Henri


Henri this is a very good point concerning this subject.

We must remember that the revolving door appeared to be wide spread until big time money began to flow into motorsports. My opinion is that this began to happen in the early to mid 1990's. Up until that time most of the drivers were the best in the world and did not usually bring a major sponsor with them.

Today multiple drivers do not approach owners for the responsibility of driving the cars. It now appears to be the other way around as owners seek drivers who can bring funding...................lots of funding and driving skills seem to be secondary.

At an event such as Indy I would suspect numerous drivers were seeking assigments in most of the cars.

Henry

#1230 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,162 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 02 December 2008 - 10:17

Henry (Histoic Mustang) - Did you ever see my post #1211 regarding the stated USAC investigation? You seemed to be bent on that avenue in earlier posts, now it seems to be a non-factor with no acknowledgement as to its stated existence. Just curious.

Brian

#1231 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 02 December 2008 - 20:57

Originally posted by B Squared
Henry (Histoic Mustang) - Did you ever see my post #1211 regarding the stated USAC investigation? You seemed to be bent on that avenue in earlier posts, now it seems to be a non-factor with no acknowledgement as to its stated existence. Just curious.

Brian


Hi Brian! :wave: Yes I saw your direction and have done some initial google searches with no luck. Also, have checked with several newspaper archives (there are hundreds of these and they all want you to register) and no luck. I did find one lead in a San Francisco paper but the print was too small to read.

Any help from the members in this area is appreciated as the full time schedule at work is currently limiting my time to explore.

Thanks again as this is a topic of interest along with others produced by this "documentary" thread here at TNF.

Henry

#1232 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 02 December 2008 - 21:02

Originally posted by TrackDog
...one local television station broadcast an interview with a driver expert who concluded that MacDonald might have been on fire before he lost control of this car.


This came up earlier in the thread and has surfaced with some of my conversations with those close to the accident. Does anyone have ANYTHING to add?

Henry

#1233 TrackDog

TrackDog
  • Member

  • 335 posts
  • Joined: August 07

Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:38

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


This came up earlier in the thread and has surfaced with some of my conversations with those close to the accident. Does anyone have ANYTHING to add?

Henry


My memory is very sketchy regarding this...I was only about 10 years old when it happenned. All I can remember concretely is that it was broadcast a couple of weeks after the race, because it was on one of the Indianapolis television stations; I was in Florida on Raceday, 1964 for about a week, and it took us several days to get back to Indiana. It was most likely broadcast on either the ABC or NBC afflilate in Indianapolis, the ABC station at that time was WLW-I [chamnnel 13], and the NBC station was WFBM [channel 6]. The CBS station, [channel 8 WISH ] didn't always come it too well, I'm about 65 miles north of Indy.

Charlie Brockman was the host of the channel 13 show Today At The Track during the month of May. I don't remember who the driver analyst was, or who hosted the other trackside shows. Freddie Agabashian was involved in the '70's and early '80's; he might have been earlier, as well.

There was a lot of speculation that something was wrong with MacDonald's car...the driver error angle didn't get a lot of play in the local media IIRC. It wasn't until I read Bill Libby's book PARNELLI: A STORY OF AUTO RACING [which I can't seem to locate my copy of...]in about 1969 that I heard of handling problems with the #83.


Dan

#1234 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:47

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
This was not just a racing incident....


I am sorry, Henry, but you lost me with this statement. In what sense or context do you mean this? If you mean that its effect on racing, particularly regarding USAC and American racing, was that of a "wakeup call" or reminder that racing was "a cruel sport" as Gurney and Daley put it, then I am in agreement. Outside of that, I have to disagree and suggest that it really was "just a racing incident" when all is finally said and done. Again, simply my personal opinion which any and everyone is quite welcome to completely ignore.

#1235 lotuspoweredbyford

lotuspoweredbyford
  • Member

  • 69 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 03 December 2008 - 18:52

I think what he means by "This was not just a racing incident...." is that there are certain accidents that transcend being labeled that way.

Jovy Marcelo's wreck and the Sachs-MacDonald wreck had the same "outcome", yet the 1964 accident is one of those that was "not just a racing accident", like the Vukovich wreck, Imola 1994, and others.

Several people have told me about the people who left in 1964, never to return to the race because of what they saw (similar to those who did the same in 1958). That to me, is "not just a racing incident".

Anyway, I talked to an EXCELLENT insider and the accident "investigation" report mentioned in the 1964 Yearbook does in fact exist.



Mike

#1236 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 03 December 2008 - 20:46

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps


I am sorry, Henry, but you lost me with this statement. In what sense or context do you mean this? If you mean that its effect on racing, particularly regarding USAC and American racing, was that of a "wakeup call" or reminder that racing was "a cruel sport" as Gurney and Daley put it, then I am in agreement. Outside of that, I have to disagree and suggest that it really was "just a racing incident" when all is finally said and done. Again, simply my personal opinion which any and everyone is quite welcome to completely ignore.


Hi Don and I am sure the members do not "completely" ignor your opinions. The important word here is "completely".

Your third sentence is my stance and I believe the opinion of most of the members involved in the thread.

Iconic accident that day in May 1964 in all respects.

Anyway, I talked to an EXCELLENT insider and the accident "investigation" report mentioned in the 1964 Yearbook does in fact exist.


Mike, can you provide any direction on this report?

Henry

#1237 lotuspoweredbyford

lotuspoweredbyford
  • Member

  • 69 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 December 2008 - 16:40

Historic Mustang

The source I talked to about this investigation is not one who's going to go "on the record".

As I understand it, USAC did investigate the 1964 accident, and made some recommendations based on it. I doubt it would ever be made public.

The sense I get, and this is just my opinion having talked to the source, is that this accident report is not a "blow-by-blow" forensics-type report, such as you would find on Rex Dean's Vukovich accident report/website.

#1238 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 04 December 2008 - 21:19

Originally posted by lotuspoweredbyford
Historic Mustang

The source I talked to about this investigation is not one who's going to go "on the record".

As I understand it, USAC did investigate the 1964 accident, and made some recommendations based on it. I doubt it would ever be made public.

The sense I get, and this is just my opinion having talked to the source, is that this accident report is not a "blow-by-blow" forensics-type report, such as you would find on Rex Dean's Vukovich accident report/website.


Thanks! :wave:

And, perhaps ;) this topic is reaching people far removed from our day to day trench research?

Henry

#1239 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:36

Originally posted by lotuspoweredbyford
Historic Mustang

The source I talked to about this investigation is not one who's going to go "on the record".

As I understand it, USAC did investigate the 1964 accident, and made some recommendations based on it. I doubt it would ever be made public.

The sense I get, and this is just my opinion having talked to the source, is that this accident report is not a "blow-by-blow" forensics-type report, such as you would find on Rex Dean's Vukovich accident report/website.





The official USAC investigation, could that by chance be the one conducted by Bob Falcon? The person who wrote that article about the crash in "The Alternate" ?
That entire piece of the Alternate is buried somewhere here within the thread I remember.


Henri

Advertisement

#1240 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 05 December 2008 - 10:07

Originally posted by Henri Greuter





The official USAC investigation, could that by chance be the one conducted by Bob Falcon? The person who wrote that article about the crash in "The Alternate" ?
That entire piece of the Alternate is buried somewhere here within the thread I remember.


Henri


Hi Henri! :wave:

For those joining the thread late and unable to locate with multiple pages of posts, this link will give a quicker access to The Alternate story, perhaps the only thing so far to come forward concerning an "investigation". At least to date anyway.

Henry

http://www.historicm...chsIndianapolis

#1241 TomSlick57

TomSlick57
  • Member

  • 81 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 15 February 2009 - 17:20

I found this thread very informative on this sad day in auto racing..I had a friend who was offered a ride to attemp to qualify in 1965 but was spooked by this accident..Then again he considered it in 1966 but the first lap crash that day ended any thoughts he entertained for Indy..I have a AP wire photo of Dave MacDonald being extracted from his vehicle but not sure i should post it due to its graphic nature..I have always felt that Dave simply lost control of a very ill handlng car in traffic..But I guess we will never knw the whole story..I also think that MacDonald was knocked out from the impact with the wall..I've seen one version of this accident that shows his head leaning to the side while sliding back onto the track...Does anyone know if the Eddie Johnson car still exsists?

#1242 Direct Drive

Direct Drive
  • Member

  • 408 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 February 2009 - 17:34

I would suggest the new biography on Mickey Thompson called
"MICKEY THOMPSON, The fast life and tragic death of a racing legend"
by Erik Arneson.
Pgs 141+ indicate the car carried fuel on both right and left sides in bladders unprotected by aluminum enclosures and only covered with the fiberglass bodywork. Bryant, in this book is quoted many times. There are photos of the car with 12" wheels and apparently USAC disallowed the enclosed and small wheels, the side skirts, the intended running height of 1.5 inches, and an adjustable wing.
MacDonald was a skilled and aggressive road racer for Carroll Shelby and was simply stuck in a design that had been altered beyond help.
Fascinating reading on a true automotive innovator and one wrongly blamed for MacDonald's death.

#1243 Direct Drive

Direct Drive
  • Member

  • 408 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 February 2009 - 18:28

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I've seriously misjudged the US system then...

In Australia such an incident would certainly have resulted in an inquest.


The simple fact that Tony Hulman and family virtually owned Speedway Indiana would suggest there might not be an inquest.
Imagine this happening at Monza !

#1244 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 18 February 2009 - 22:42

This is a very long, informative, emotional thread that has covered the subject at hand in great depth.

And, in my opinion, has produced more information and more accurate information than any other single point of reference.

Being the originator, I would encourage that anyone adding additional information to please take time to read each and every posting before adding their information and comments.

Emotions run high on this one.

Thanks,
Henry :wave:

#1245 Direct Drive

Direct Drive
  • Member

  • 408 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 February 2009 - 23:00

So, STAY THE HELL OFF!
:eek:

#1246 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:33

Originally posted by Direct Drive
So, STAY THE HELL OFF!
:eek:


Son, as a newbie...
Don't write a check your ass can't cash... :kiss:

ZOOOM

#1247 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:41

Originally posted by TomSlick57
I found this thread very informative on this sad day in auto racing..I had a friend who was offered a ride to attemp to qualify in 1965 but was spooked by this accident..Then again he considered it in 1966 but the first lap crash that day ended any thoughts he entertained for Indy..I have a AP wire photo of Dave MacDonald being extracted from his vehicle but not sure i should post it due to its graphic nature..I have always felt that Dave simply lost control of a very ill handlng car in traffic..But I guess we will never knw the whole story..I also think that MacDonald was knocked out from the impact with the wall..I've seen one version of this accident that shows his head leaning to the side while sliding back onto the track...Does anyone know if the Eddie Johnson car still exsists?




TomSlick57,

I think you are entirely right with not reproducing the picture you describe.
Nevertheless I would like to ask you this.

Is the picture you decribed seen from the right, I mean, if something of the car is visible, is it from the right side?
And if so, can you spot anything which remotely lloks as if this could have been something that can be related with a fuel tank?

Henri

#1248 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 4,802 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:42

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
This is a very long, informative, emotional thread that has covered the subject at hand in great depth.

And, in my opinion, has produced more information and more accurate information than any other single point of reference.

Being the originator, I would encourage that anyone adding additional information to please take time to read each and every posting before adding their information and comments.

Emotions run high on this one.

Thanks,
Henry :wave:



Henry, can you please email me PM to tell me you are there?


henri

#1249 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:35

Originally posted by Henri Greuter



Henry, can you please email me PM to tell me you are there?


henri


Hi Henri and yes please check your PM's.

Henry :wave:

#1250 OfficeLinebacker

OfficeLinebacker
  • Member

  • 14,019 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 19 February 2009 - 18:39

TomSlick I think you should post a photo, but as a link. That way those who choose not to look don't have to.